Technology allows organisations to optimise their operations like never before through advances in data analytics, artificial intelligence and automation. We’re all aware of the rapid emergence of generative AI and how its impacting the way we work and will result in significant increases in productivity in the future. While there are some heavy duty tools on the market for robotic process automation (RPA), there are also some more everyday tools across different functions, which have various levels of automation to help improve productivity and efficiency. Automation is used in every operational function today. See below, for some of the most common applications.
1. Project management: In managing projects, automation can help streamline project management processes by automating tasks such as project tracking, task assignment, and reporting. For example, tools like Asana, Jira or Trello can automate task reminders, automate rules and triggers plus notifications to keep projects on track.
2. People management: Particularly for larger organisations, automation is critical to help HR departments manage employee data, onboarding, and performance evaluations more efficiently. Tools like BambooHR can automate employee data management and applicant tracking, while platforms like Culture Amp can automate employee feedback surveys and performance evaluations.
3. Process management: From workflow design to SOP creation, automation can help organisations streamline and optimise their business processes. Tools like Nintex Workflow Automation can automate manual workflows, while platforms like Process Street can automate process documentation and standardisation.
4. Customer management: Automation can help organisations drive customer engagement and support. Tools like Intercom can automate customer service chats on your company website, while CRM platforms like Salesforce can automate customer data management and lead nurturing.
5. Sales management: There are many sales automation tools which can help sales teams optimise their lead generation and conversion processes. For example, tools like HubSpot can automate lead scoring and email campaigns, while platforms like SalesLoft can automate sales cadences and prospecting.
6. Workflow integration across platforms: If you’re wondering how your customer data is available on 2 independent 3rd party web applications, without a custom built in-house application, then it’s most likely because your team is using Zapier - a cloud-based automation tool that connects different web applications to automate workflows, including email, CRM, project management, and social media. The importance of integration across independent applications and platforms will become even more important in the future.
7. Financial management: In financial reporting and payroll, automation can help organisations manage financial processes more efficiently. Tools like QuickBooks online can automate bookkeeping and invoicing, while platforms like Adaptive Insights can automate budgeting and forecasting.
8. Social media management: With companies being omnipresent on Social Media, automation can help organisations manage their social media presence and engage with followers more effectively. Tools like Hootsuite can automate social media scheduling and posting, while platforms like Sprout Social can automate social listening and analytics.
9. Metrics & reporting: In a world of data, automation helps organisations measure, track and analyse metrics more efficiently. For example, tools like InsightSquared can automate sales reporting and forecasting, while platforms like Microsoft PowerBI and Tableau can automate data visualisation and analysis.
So where are you automating today and where are the opportunities?